Asian group bares plan to combat online 'terrorism'

Asia's top security forum is expected to announce sweeping plans to prevent cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and the abuse of online resources by terrorists, an AFP report said.

The report said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), which included the US, Russia and China, was moving to boost counter-terrorism measures at its annual meeting in Malaysia.

The report, citing a draft copy of an ARF statement to be adopted on cyber attacks, said the misuse of cyber resources by terrorists was a "destructive and devastating form and manifestation of global terrorism."

The statement, according to the AFP report, said the problem was being made worse by increased connectivity between countries in the region, and that the 26 member-nations would have to establish an ARF-wide alert network on cyber-related crimes.

The network "will facilitate the real-time exchange of threat and vulnerability assessment and issuance of required warnings and patches," the statement said.

ARF countries would adopt measures "to prohibit by incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts, including through computer networks," the statement further said.

The nations would also exert efforts to draw up cyber crime and cyber security laws and implement national frameworks to address criminal and terrorist uses of online networks.

Security experts had said Southeast Asia was vulnerable to Internet-based attacks, and that the region was not properly prepared for a high-tech assault, the report said.